Permanent Mission of Australia
to the United Nations
New York

221206 - UN General Assembly - Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations


6 December 2022

Statement by Dr Fiona Webster, Deputy Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations

Mr President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

The events of 2022 have devastated lives and livelihoods around the globe. Multiple, intersecting and complex crises are stretching humanitarian organisations to their limits. Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine continues to unleash suffering, death, injury and destruction.

Last week, Under-Secretary-General Griffiths presented the 2023 Global Humanitarian Overview, painting a picture of a humanitarian system under strain in the face of unprecedented needs.

In the year ahead, we will continue to face compounding challenges – rising food insecurity, protracted conflicts, record levels of displacement, and the impacts of climate change, including increasingly intense disasters.

It is a deeply challenging prospect and will require continued and increased humanitarian assistance. But humanitarian assistance alone is not the solution. We must find political solutions and hold warring parties to account for violations of international humanitarian law.  

We must invest in a multi-hazard, cross-sectoral approach to disaster risk reduction, preparedness and resilience building. And in doing so, ensure that gender equality, disability inclusion and localisation are at the centre of our efforts.

The ongoing midterm review of the Sendai Framework presents a crucial opportunity to strengthen coherence between humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction and halt the exponential growth in humanitarian need.

Australia’s region, the Asia-Pacific, is the most disaster-prone region in the world. We were therefore proud to contribute to finding solutions to this challenge by hosting the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Brisbane in September.

Australia looks forward to facilitating, with our friends from Indonesia, the political declaration for the high-level meeting on the midterm review of the implementation of the Sendai Framework. We encourage all Member States to actively engage in the midterm review and look forward to deliberating how to take its outcomes forward at next year’s Humanitarian Affairs Segment.

I conclude today with Australia’s thanks to the humanitarians around the world who continue to work tirelessly in the back offices and on the front lines, to deliver urgent assistance to millions of people in need.

Thank you.